With reference to the conditions that allowed for the formation of the United Nations, Sir Winston Churchill has been credited with stating: “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”

Some would argue that we are not into a crisis stage representatively or environmentally but governments and Mother Nature have their ways of tapping us on the shoulders to remind us that they are mainly in charge.

On September 7 while I was awaiting the arrival of extra-tropical cyclone Dorian, I decided it was a grand opportunity to get off my writer’s duff and do an opinion. With Dorian, a looming crisis for many, bearing down on Nova Scotia, I was hunkered down with my now-available time. The previous week I has twisted my knee (a runner’s crisis) while attempting to dodge one of the humungous number of pot holes along Route 16.

For today’s opinion, I set a challenge to be positive in this era of climate changes altering our earth; Donald J. Trump spewing his toxic rhetoric; right-wing philosophies rearing their ugly heads; governments spending taxpayers’ moneys like sailors on shore leave; and the list goes on.

Because I wanted to write about a more-inclusive yet relevant topic, I was struggling with finding a positive subject until I went for a massage treatment. During that treatment, my massage therapist and I were discussing my challenge and she suggested I focus on gratitude as my central theme; an idea that I admired and have adopted.

In hindsight, Category 2 Hurricane Juan (September 2003) gave parts of Nova Scotia a hammering but taught many of us preparatory lessons for future storms. Betty and I were living in Truro when Juan came directly over our home. Experiencing Juan definitely assisted me and many others to prepare for Dorian.

We are experiencing drastic alterations to our climates but the very fact that we are aware of such realities is leading many to demand environmental actions and to find personal ways to make positive changes.

I cautiously believe that the Trumpians of the world will be seen for what they truly are and the general populous will rein them in via government reforms, demands for electoral transparency and public involvements. When citizens sit back on their haunches and let others go about the business of governing without our checks and balances, the results can be alarming.

People becoming more vocal to their governments will also affect how our taxes are spent. More and more people will not be willing to see their dollars being dumped on whatever governments decide. All powers need checks and balances. With needs such public health, transportation, waste treatment, and water sources being too long not getting their due attention, citizens need to be questioning why collective politicians kick our needs down the highway for others to deal with.

On Sunday my electrical power was thankfully re-instated after 18 hours of being without. A large tree (to become my fire wood) was down on my lawn and only three roof shingles were missing from my house.

Fifty-three hours later saw my internet/telephone/TV services were re-activated. That off-line time gave me the opportunity to finish reading Jim Acosta’s insightful and provoking book entitled The Enemy of the People about the ongoing attempts of President Trump’s administration to stifle the media and alter the message. Acosta drives home repeatedly the need for freedom of the press and for political questions to be asked and then honestly answered.

Sometimes a person needs a life-bump (crisis) to make one appreciate all for which he/she should to be grateful. Look around, I am certain there is much that you possess or have experienced for which you too can be thankful. For that which is negative, change them if possible; if not, get on with your life and seek out your positives.

Ray Bates

Guysborough